September 30, 2007

Today's Lesson: Complacency Kills

WELL, THE STEELERS ARE BACK! Unfortunately, it's the team from 2006 -- the team of the blown opportunities, the mindless turnovers, the mental errors. Sadly, the Pittsburgh Steelers fell to the Arizona Cardinals this afternoon, losing 21-14 in a game that wasn't as close as that score might indicate.

As Arizona's old coach might have said, they were who we thought they were, and we let 'em off the hook.

Going into the second half of the game, leading 7-0, I was confident the Steelers would turn on the jets and deliver a beatdown on the Cardinals. We had, after all, squelched their offense in the first half and our defense played well. I had concerns about our offense, particularly the performance of our offensive line and the collapse of our running game, but I was hopeful we would correct those and play up to par. A while later, Pittsburgh has given up 21 unanswered points and we've got the ball with just five minutes or so left. Blech. At least it was an exciting finish.

I have to think it was complacency that led to our undoing. After all, who would have thought Arizona -- Arizona, for God's sake -- would play so well given their performance in their last three games? However, I am hopeful this loss will serve as a wakeup call to the Steelers, and they'll be back on track next Sunday at Heinz Field. We had a great opportunity today to go up two games in the AFC North and we didn't seize it. Next week, when we have that opportunity again, I think the Steelers will grab it by the horns.

Also, I would like to congratulate the Cleveland Browns and their fans on their well-deserved win over the Baltimore Ravens today. That was a beautiful thing. Plus, since the Steelers lost, the Browns fans are happy and content -- in a sort of sad, peculiar way -- but they're happy and content nonetheless. So thank you, Cleveland, for beating the Ravens and keeping Pittsburgh atop the AFC North. It was much appreciated. Just don't get your hopes up too much, because you WILL be smacked down later this season at Heinz Field.

Our loss today does, however, put me in a bit of a quandary -- who the devil do I root for tomorrow night? Do I root for New England, even though their victory would give them a one-game lead in terms of playoff advantage, or do I root for Cincinnati, even though their victory would put them within one game of the Steelers? At this point, I am inclined to root for the Bungles, just because a victory there would make all the Patriots fans -- the same Patriots fans who stole my Hines Ward car magnet -- grumpy this week. But if the Bungles lost, it would put them 1-3 and in deep trouble in terms of winning the division. This may just be a game-time decision!

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at September 30, 2007 08:28 PM | TrackBack
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